Bristol’s Cirque Bijou supports live arts

A GROUP of socially distanced Bristol volunteers danced to an audience of one – a drone – to celebrate the twin jewels in this country’s crown, the arts and the NHS.

The spectacular 60-second video by Cirque Bijou, based in Easton, was intended to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to safely starting up live performance. Filmed by drone after dark in Eastville Park, the 30 socially-distanced dancers, held LED umbrellas in a kaleidoscope of colours, spelling out  “’heart’ art” and “NHS” using colourful illuminated umbrellas.

Cirque Bijou has produced shows internationally since 1999. Regulars at Bristol Harbour Festival and Glastonbury, earlier this year they were the first UK company to be invited to perform at Taiwan Lantern Festival to an audience of 160,000.

This performance, directed by Cirque Bijou co-artistic director Julian Bracey, was conducted in front of an audience of zero, in line with current regulations.

Julian said: “We wanted to show how with mindful choreography and the right precautions in place, this kind of celebratory, participatory community event can still happen. This time, we were only watched by the blinking eye of a drone, but who knows, next time we may have a real, live audience.”

Over lockdown, Cirque Bijou supported over 100 local artists, performers and crew with advice and training, made possible through funding from Arts Council England and Bristol City Council.

The 60-second video will be released on the Cirque Bijou social media channels on 30th September, as part of an international day of action called #WeMakeEvents, highlighting the plight of the live entertainment sector.